Friday, July 22, 2005

Lemon Merengue

Rick Peterson has done a lot of work with Victor Zambrano during games. He's constantly on the mound and he's hands on.

You still wouldn't think that Zambrano would need to be told not to groove an 0-2 slider to the only feared hitter in the Dodger lineup. And that was the difference in a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers on Merengue night.

Sometime during the time the Dodgers were taking their 6-0 lead during innings 3, 4, and 5...Mets announcers were a tad incredulous at the fact that Mets fans booed Victor Zambrano at the end of the fourth inning and the Mets down 3-0, after the good streak Zambrano had been on. My only retort to the announcers would be to give us a little more credit than that. I didn't interpret the boos as being directed at Zambrano, per say. That fourth inning ended with two steals by Jayson Werth...not regarded as one of the top speedsters in baseball...including an uncontested steal of third. That was followed by a Jeff Weaver RBI single, where Carlos Beltran fielded it like he had better things to do. Now that's not to say Beltran would have had a play...but he would have had a play had Werth been paid attention to, or even had the Mets pretended to pay attention to him. The fact is, from innings 1-5, the Mets looked like the most disinterested baseball team on earth. I believe most would call their performance "flat". I call it brutal. That's why I would have booed, and that's why I think the boos rained down during the middle of the fourth. But Zambrano, irrespective of all of the good he's done for the Mets (which he still deserves all the credit in the world for), was the reason they lost tonight.

Give the Mets credit for a ferocious comeback after home runs by Minky (who, with two homers in two games may be well on his way to shaving his head) and Beltran to bring the score to 6-5, then couldn't get the timely tying hit after that. But five runs should have been enough tonight. For all of Zambrano's wildness early on in the season, it seems as though he's gone too far the other way. He didn't walk anybody tonight, but you wish that he would move away from the strike zone once in a while, as in the case of Kent's HR. With the Dodgers lineup being what it is (Ricky Ledee as cleanup hitter), there's no excuse to give Kent anything to hit, yet he was a triple away from the cycle. Peterson has torqued Zambrano a little too much, and now, to use a NASCAR term, he's oversteering and he's too loose. It's up to Peterson to tighten him back up and get him back on that racetrack.


Dayn Perry assesses the needs of the N.L. contenders. His definition of contender did not include the Mets, although they now qualify. Mike Cameron is mentioned as a possible target for the Cubs, with power hitting first baseman Brian Dopirak seen as possible bait for Cammy.


Joel Sherman has some good ideas that I endorse.


David Lennon alludes to some unrest, perhaps, in the room.


Dave O'Brien mentioned the Jeff Kent/Barry Bonds fight, and said that even with the lack of popularity of Bonds, there were 23 guys behind him in that clubhouse regarding that fight. That's how unpopular Jeff Kent was. Gee, nice to know I'm not the only one.

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